Madge and the St. Patty's Day Biker Gang
As some of you might know I’m pretty damn Irish. My name is Margaret Frances Madigan. Maybe just a little Irish? My Father’s family is all off the potato famine boat all around. It all boils down to (and that’s not a potato joke) me being raised in a very very Irish Catholic family.
So it’s the big weekend coming up. This year it’s nice because the big parade in town and St. Paddy’s day are in the same weekend. I’ll be riding on the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians float, then drinking at the smallest Irish dump I can find.
My usual parade thing
I absolutely hate what St. Patrick’s Day (SPD herein out) has become. It’s another drunken slut holiday now. Yup, just like Halloween and New Year’s. It’s now rife with big commercialism, bar specials, young girls in green tube tops and skimpy skirts, and drunken douchebag kids asking me if they can stick their tongue down my throat. Hate it, hate it, hate it!
I liked SPD how it was when I was growing up, ya’ go to the Knights of Columbus fish fry or Mom cooked lamb stew then you either went to the American Legion or some other Irish dump. You sat there with the drunk old men who told stories and gave you a dollar if you did a jig for them (now properly called Irish step dancing). Oh and I forgot there was usually mass thrown in somewhere too.
But I do remember a very interesting SPD about 6 years ago. I had just moved back to Rochester, NY from a 7 year stint in Denver. All of my old friends back here were now married with small kids or were our “couple friends” when we were married. Because of this I didn’t have a bunch of going out friends when I first came back, just several acquaintances, so I used to venture out on my own a lot.
And that’s what I did that day. I wandered around the parade a bit (hadn’t joined Hibernians yet) and was a little annoyed at drunk 20 somethings bumping into me and spilling beer on me. So I tried to find the ole Irish hole in the wall. I try Johnny’s which is usually a cool place. But on parade day in the afternoon it was bereft of it’s usual dark, empty charm. But there was a great assortment of folk for people watching.
I somehow got talking to this nice middle aged woman who was a friend of a friend as I was trying to get a drink. She said she and her friends had a spot and to come over and stand with them. I go over and was welcomed warmly by about 4 men and two women. I did notice the men were heavily tattooed and wearing biker hats and sleeveless denim jackets and leather vests with patches and a motorcycle club emblem. Cool! I love colorful people.
They were extremely nice and funny. The one rather large cuddly teddy bear guy with huge long beard was a few years younger than me and his name was “Tank”. Tank became my protector and drink getter-er. Sweet!
We are having a grand old time. Laughing, talking, drinking. And they start to talk about a party they need to be getting to at their motorcycle club and ask me if I want to go. Now these people were all intelligent and had real jobs like paramedics and technicians but happened to be weekend warriors. And well they told me their motorcycle club was big with the cops. A lot of RPD are members. Ok, so I go.
They say it’s at their “clubhouse”. I got a little excited as I’m having visions of Marlon Brando and the Wild Bunch or one of those Frankie and Annette beach movies where they stumble on some bikers. However, we get there and… it’s just a two story colonial house in a nearby average neighborhood. Oh well.
We go in and there are other biker looking dudes and chicks and a few little kids with mullets. A few tables with potluck food and random booze people brought. All very friendly people. Tank starts pouring the booze. Tank starts downing the booze.
More people keep streaming in the door. Oh hey, there’s a couple of firemen I know. Phew, I feel a little more at ease. We are having a great time. There are several dogs running around, one of which had an extreme obsession with my crotch.
Actual picture from that day
My new friends kept checking on me to make sure I was having fun. Tank would not leave my side. More people kept coming in, it was starting to get a little crowded. Oh hey I see guys in Hibernian jackets that hang out at Johnny’s. Hey more RFD and RPD shirts and jackets on guys. Wow this is becoming very cliche’, all the Firefighters and Police being Irish or celebrating their occupations Irish heavy heritage. Rochester has a metro area of about 300,000 people. I’ve read the greater metro area has about 1 million. Depends what you read. Anyway…
In comes several guys from the freakin’ cop’s pipe band. Fun! But it’s gettin’ a might crowded. I find out this motorcycle club is nationwide and mostly a cop thing. So I find out Tank is actually from Pittsburgh and there are various other people from all over. I’m beginning to realize this is quite the big thing. And every 2 minutes someone is touching my red curly hair and saying “Look at this fine Irish lass!”
I realized it even more as through the door walks this guy that looks familiar. Hey, it’s Mayor Bob Duffy (at the time) who had been the Grand Marshall of the parade. Incidentally now Bob Duffy is the Lt. Governor of the state of NY. All of a sudden I’m like what the fuck kind of bizarro land did I enter? At the same time Tank is getting hammered.
I needed to find the bathroom. Tank says he’ll show me. Tank not only shows me but walks me in and closes the door. He says he just wants to talk. I say that’s nice but I really need to use the bathroom and I’m not in the habit of doing it in front of strangers. He then tries to kiss me. He wasn’t rude or forceful, he was even trying to be a little romantic I think in a trapping-a-stranger-in-a-bathroom way. I suddenly pulled the “Oh I think I’m going to be sick so get out of here” move. He left. I performed my duties (not throwing up though) and plotted my escape.
Luckily when I exit the bathroom he is talking to someone else. I sprint down the stairs grab my stuff which happens to be on the chair the mayor is leaning on. He said “Oh excuse me” must have realized I looked a bit frazzled and said “Did we scare you off?” and laughed. I just smiled and laughed and said no. I really wasn’t scared off. I just didn’t feel like trying to duck a 300 lb. drunk biker dude all night.
I then walked a few blocks to a diner had some food and a bunch of water to sober up and later drove home. But it wasn’t over, I guess I gave Tank my cell number early in the day in case we got separated. A day or so later I started receiving texts professing his undying love. Wow, guess I made an impression. I unfortunately was just not feelin’ it. Maybe I missed out, who knows. What girl wouldn’t love romantic bathroom interludes?